Does Your Child Want to be a Child Actor or Child Model?
Before you begin launching your child into the spotlight, we recommend sitting down and discussing with him your thoughts about his possible acting career. Be specific when you talk to your child; be sure he understands exactly what is required of him.
A child actor's career should be something you and your child decide to do together. This endeavor requires both parent and child to be voluntary participants. After all, we're talking about his life too! His feelings on the subject must be considered. If you approach the topic positively, your child will likely respond positively. You may even discover he likes the idea!
How Do You Know if He/She is Ready for an Acting Career?
Here are a couple of suggestions for testing the water. Before to making your decision (and long after you've committed to it, too), watch programs that focus on children your child's age. You'll find lots of child actors in television commercials too; in fact, in the beginning, your child will go out on more interviews for commercials than for any other medium. (TV series, feature films and movies of the week usually come after your child has done a few commercials.)
When watching children, make comments to your child. For example, while viewing a pudding commercial featuring a five year-old boy, you might say, "Wasn't he cute? I'll bet you could do that." If your child offers an affirmative response, ask him to say a couple of lines about chocolate pudding; the lines do not have to be the same as those in the commercial. Let him make up something on his own. He may surprise you. If he can easily mimic what he hears, he's ready.
If your child willingly performs for your upon request, he'll willingly do it for others, like casting directors, producers, and directors. Of course, there's a big difference between performing for you and performing for someone outside the family.
Once your child is going out on calls, keep in mind that he's just a kid. There will be days when he is "on" and days when, no matter what you promise him, he just won't do anything for anybody. Will the casting people understand? Of course they will.
There will be other calls, other projects, and there's no need to burn bridges with casting directors over an attitude caused by a missed nap. Keep in mind, however, there are dozens more kids just like yours lining up right outside the door, ready and willing to stand up and be counted. All the casting people have to do with a child who won't perform is say, "Next."
For more information, read our Parent's Guide to Child Acting and Modeling
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